Key Steps to Take When Moving to a New Neighborhood

in Renter Life

Are you worried about moving into a new neighborhood?

Don’t fret! We have your back. Moving into a different apartment in a new neighborhood is more than unpacking your things and calling it a day. You and your loved ones will be living in a place that you know little about, without the familiar faces or places you’ve grown accustomed to. There will be a feeling-out period, but proper preparation can help you adjust to your new surroundings quickly.

Before we proceed, have you done your due diligence on the new apartment and general neighborhood?

  • If it’s an old apartment or house, knowing its history and who the previous owners were is important for your peace of mind.
  • Give the apartment a once-over, checking every room and square inch of space. Make sure that everything inside matches what’s in the contract, and contact your realtor if something is amiss.
  • For the neighborhood, it’s always a good idea to do a little recon first before signing the contract. Scoping out the place can tell you if the area is safe or if you have noisy and nosey neighbors.
  • If you’re worried about safety, you can always do advanced background checks on your future neighbors discreetly. Avoid neighborhoods with a high crime rate, and residents are in and out of prison, or if a convicted sex offender is living nearby. It’s better to know about these issues beforehand, rather than finding out the hard way.

Moving on, below are several steps you can take to ensure that the transition from your previous neighborhood to the new one goes off without a hitch.

Go Through Your Moving Checklist

Aside from unpacking boxes and moving furniture around, there are few things you should do first, preferably a few weeks before your big move.

  1. Get to know your new apartment by doing a complete walkthrough. Where is the circuit breaker or fuse box is, and the location of the main water valve? Knowing where everything is can save you time and frustration in case of an emergency. Seeing the apartment or house bare will also give you an idea of where to put your furniture on moving day.
  2. Get in touch with utility companies in the area. Applying for utilities in advance ensures you have water, power, gas, heating, internet, and phone services when you move in. At the very least, you won’t have to wait too long if you put in an advanced application.
  3. Contact the waste disposal facility that services the neighborhood to make sure your apartment is part of their route.
  4. Change all the locks, add some deadbolts where needed, and add a security system with multiple cameras facing doors and blind spots. Seventy-two percent of all burglaries happen in residential areas. Even if your new neighborhood has a stellar safety record and low crime rate, you’ll never know. A criminal passing through might notice that your apartment is easy to break into, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  5. Changing your address can take some time, so make sure to contact the post office and set up a forwarding address while waiting.
  6. If you have children, childproof your new apartment before moving in. Set up a safe “kids only” area far away from the moving activities, furniture, and sharp objects.
  7. If you have pets, set up a pet area away from all the activity or leave them in the crate.

Meet Your Neighbors

After all the moving and unpacking is out of the way, take a breather and take a walk around the block. Stop to say hi and introduce yourself to new neighbors who happen to be outside without being too intrusive. Try to be friendly, open, and approachable. More often than not, getting to know the neighbors sits so low on the to-do-list, it never gets done.

However, knowing who the people are living next to you creates a safer community for everyone. You can ask your neighbor to keep an eye on your place while you’re on vacation, for instance, or feed your cat. Who knows, you may even hit it off and make strong friendships that last a lifetime!

Invite Your Neighbors to a Housewarming Party

After meeting some of your new neighbors, throw a housewarming party, and invite them. You can tell them to ask other members of the community that you haven’t met yet to join the party so that you can meet everyone in one go and make more friends. It’s okay to keep things simple – your neighbors will understand that you just moved. Asking your guests to bring extra chairs, snacks or glasses is also not a big deal because people usually don’t mind helping out.

Get the Lay of the Land

The next step is familiarizing yourself with the area. Walk the dog, go for a run, ride a bike, or drive around and explore. You’ll be living in the new neighborhood for the foreseeable future and knowing where the nearest hospital, fire, and police station can save your life. Be sure to check out the local dining, sports, music, and entertainment scene. Being a tourist in your new community will help you discover new places and activities.

Look for coffee shops, cafes, barbershops, salons, and pubs you can hang out in. If you have kids, search for recreation areas, libraries, dog parks, and playgrounds to help them stay active. Spending time outdoors can help keep your children occupied and let them settle in their new environment quickly. You can use apps where users rank places on a map or ask your neighbors for advice on where they hang out!

Get Involved in Your New Community

Feeling part of a community will take a little time and effort on your part, no matter where you came from. It would be best if you found things that interest you so you can connect with other people in the community. It could be anything, like sports activities, volunteering in an animal shelter, or getting involved in your child’s school. Landing a job in one of the local businesses can also help your standing in the community.

In a Nutshell

Moving into a new neighborhood is like a new beginning of sorts. There will be new people to meet, places to explore, and things to experience. It’s perfectly fine to feel a little anxious during the first few days in your new place. It would help if you gave yourself time to acclimate to your surroundings and settle into a grove. Once you find your footing, everything will be alright. 

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